Wood & Leather Backpack V1.0




Introduction: Wood & Leather Backpack V1.0

About: I like making things myself and learn new stuff.

Watching some cartoons with my kids I noticed a small backpack that I liked. After looking for photos on the Internet I decided to make one. This one is Version 1.0 because it's intended to be a learning platform so I can then make V2.0 (mine). I hope you like it and vote for it. I'm learning to work with leather but I have basic woodworking knowledge. That's why I decided to create a wood and leather backpack.

Step 1: Some Ideas and Initial Design

I had to choose a final design.

I like the form of the black and red backpack shown above, but I wanted the sides and bottom to be made of wood.

I did not like the brass tacks but later on I learned why they used them. For now, I intended to sew the leather to the wood.

Since I had enough leather for a small backpack, I decided it to be 10 inches wide, 3 inches deep, and 8 inches tall. Version 2.0 will be bigger and better!

The shoulder straps will come out of the sides and end on the bottom. I will use some magnets for closing the front.

Step 2: Materials

Recycled wood

2 leather pieces 12 inches x 24 inches

Needles and faux leather string

Double sided craft tape

Blue tape


Hole puncher

1/4 tap

1/4 inch-20 x 3/4 inch flat head phillips screws


Nylon straps

Step 3: Cut, Drill the Wood and Prepare the Leather

I traced the forms into the wood from the paper patterns.

I recorded a video of these steps, but the file got corrupted and I could not fix it. @#$@$!~#

Next it's to cut the wood and then sand it.

Drill 112 holes 1/2" apart. It took me a loooong time!

The leather was cut following the design, and after using blue tape along the edges I used a ruler and a pen to mark the holes. Using the hole puncher, I spent a few hours punching holes to the leather.

Step 4: "Sew" the Leather to the Wood

Using a string, I attached the needle to the faux leather string.

It took me almost an hour to stitch the leather to the wood.

Unfortunately, I did not like the end result!

Lesson learned. It's easier to glue and nail the leather to the wood.

I undid the stitching and using double sided craft tape fixed the leather to the wood and stitched it all again.

Step 5: Shoulder Straps

From an old backpack I got the length of the straps. I cut (4) 18 inches long strips of the nylon.

I manually sew two strips to the brass adjustable slider, and added one grommet to each of the two remaining strips. It would've been very handy to have a Juki Serger at this point ;).

I measured and marked 2 inches from the sides of the bottom, drilled and tapped threads to the wood. After testing the straps I found out that they where too long, so I trimmed the excess. Then using the screw, I attached the straps to the bottom of the backpack.

Step 6: The Finished Backpack

Finally, after cleaning, I took some pictures of the backpack for the contest and gave it to my kid, so he could enjoy it (or destroy it *nooooooo*).

I hope this can help someone create a backpack like this one. It was more difficult than expected, but a lot of fun!

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    The end results is really quite awesome though! And I reckon it would be an awesome storage solution for breakable stuff if you needed something light and portable and easy on the shoulders. I would definitely consider making more of these too man - they're really quite nice, if I do say so myself!


    Reply 4 years ago

    It's definitely a versatile piece. If you do make one of these or something similar, do share!


    Tip 4 years ago on Step 6

    Instead of drilling all those holes, you could use glue and thumbtacks to secure the leather to the pieces of wood.


    Reply 4 years ago

    Hi blkhawk,

    Thanks for looking at my Instrutable. I tried the brass tacks, but I didn't like how it ended up looking for this backpack. I will definitely try it on my next backpack project.

    Thanks for the suggestion.


    4 years ago

    That's really nice looking! Love how rigid the wood makes it. :)


    Reply 4 years ago


    It helps it keep its form and its actually comfortable to use.